Review by Hannah Fredriksson
Pitch Slapped has been a Fringe Festival regular since 2019 - it's an annual a cappella competition created by Cassie Van Lendt that sees the most punderfully named vocal groups in Perth battle it out to make it to nationals! Just kidding – but they are competing to be crowned the champions and take home a very pretty trophy. This year's competition was a little bit different, with Subiaco Arts Centre hosting a smaller audience as a result of a global pandemic that you might have heard of.
MC Tom Mantle facilitated the proceedings with charming transparency, admitting to the audience when he had to banter to fill a specific timeframe, which he then did flawlessly by giving the audience a crash course in beatboxing from the school of 'Bouncing Cats'.
First up was the Danger Tones, a group of four dressed in yellow and denim. They delivered a 2020 medley with a humorous twist when one of the girls started to break into WAP before being cut off promptly by her group members. Their set was joyous and uplifting, reminding us that 2020 wasn't so bad after all.
Next was The Chorduroys, comprised of four young girls who served up She Will Be Loved and One Fine Day. Their harmonising was on point, though the girls were a touch reserved and didn't surrender to the emotion in the songs. I am excited to see how they grow and progress in the future, since they already have such an excellent foundation.
The next act was The BelleChords – these four women were wearing rainbow headbands and long black wrap skirts that I was certain were concealing something. They performed a pleasant rendition of What A Wonderful World with an original arrangement, before tearing away their wrap skirts to reveal colourful tutus hidden beneath! Then they launched into Turn The Beat Around, with some humorous characterisation thrown in that had the audience laughing and cheering – they had the perfect combination of technical ability and comedy that swept the audience off its feet.
The following act was the reigning champion from 2020, a group of six called Acapocalypse. They took to the stage in sleek black and leather outfits and performed a soulful rendition of Someone You Loved, followed by an incredibly varied medley that included a rap from Hamilton called Guns and Ships. The group showed incredible versatility as they transitioned seamlessly across different genres, allowing each member to take the lead and shine. They also had interesting choreography that was relevant to the content of the songs.
The final act was Good 4Tunes, a group of four girls wearing blue and denim. They delivered a sweet medley of pop songs with delicate harmonies, it was a lovely way to round out the competition.
The judges deliberated and announced the runner up to be Danger Tones, and Acapocalypse were declared the winner for the second year in a row.
Pitch Slapped was a joyous view into a world that I'm familiar with through Pitch Perfect and Glee, but that I didn't realise also existed so close to home. It's a delightful reminder that there is a lot of talent in our city and I can't wait to see how the competition unfolds in 2022.